Historic tour and hot springs in Sendai and Yamagata (2 days)

Area Map 青森県 岩手県 宮城県 秋田県 山形県 福島県 新潟県

Historic tour and hot springs in Sendai and Yamagata (2 days)

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Day1
 
 

Zuihoden

The resting place of Date Masamune

Zuihoden
Zuihoden is the mausoleum of Date Masamune, the founder of Sendai and most powerful daimyo (feudal lord) of the Tohoku region. Constructed in 1637 and designated as a National Treasure in 1931, it was destroyed by a fire during the second world war; the present structure was built in 1979 and reconstructed in its original Momoyama architectural style. There is a second and third generation mausoleum on the site, as well as a museum displaying excavation materials.
*Please check the official website for the latest information.
 
 

Lunch in Sendai city

Beef Tongue

Lunch in Sendai city
A large number of restaurants specialising in beef tongue can be found along “Beef Tongue Street” at Sendai station and in Sendai’s city centre. Each restaurant has its own recipe and technique for the city’s famous grilled beef tongue, and a variety of other beef tongue dishes are available including stewed, marinated, sashimi and sushi. Enjoy the authentic grilled beef tongue and compare the flavours of each restaurant!



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Ginzan Onsen

This classic hot spring town lined with traditional wooden architecture is full of photogenic nostalgia!

Ginzan Onsen
Travel back in time to classical Japan in Ginzan Onsen! The town is home to wooden hot spring inns lining each side of the Ginzan River and resonates with nostalgic beauty when illuminated at night by gas street lamps. The view reminds visitors of scenes from the famous film “Sprinted Away” by Hayao Miyazaki. Before that the town was used as a location of NHK’s popular TV drama series “Oshin”, a monumental hit of 1983. The night view of the town blanketed in snow beneath the warm streetlights is particularly photogenic during winter.
Walking along the town’s streets visitors will find colourful pictures known as Kote-e on the walls of hot spring inns and snowflake designs on tiles on the roads. Relax your feet in hot spring water rising directly from its source at the “Warashiyu” footbaths along the Ginzan River while exploring the town! The compact town is suitable for strolling around and has a variety of cafes, eateries and gift shops. Classical costumes of the Taisho period can be rented from local shops to enhance the Onsen experience and take visitors back to the time when Japanese arts and culture flourished following exposure to western cultural influences. Why not enjoy strolling around this picturesque town in a chic costume?
The town is covered with deep snow in winter however it is easily accessible via a 3-hour Shinkansen from Tokyo and direct 40-minute bus ride. A relaxing soak in a hot spring surrounded by snowy scenery is an exceptional delight! After a warm hot spring bath, enjoy savouring local specialties including the local Wagyu beef “Obanazawa” and Obanazawa Soba noodles!
Neighbouring natural attractions include Senshinkyo Gorge, a scenic location during the seasons of verdant greens and autumn leaves and the 22-metre vertical drop of Shirogane-no-taki Waterfall.
A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Hot springs
Day2
 
 
 
 
 

Lunch in Yonezawa city

Yonezawa beef from Yamagata

Lunch in Yonezawa city
The nationally renowned Yonezawa beef is a breed of cattle raised in the Yonezawa basin. Large temperature differences between the hot and humid summers and cold, harsh winters produce fit cattle with perfectly marbled beef. The cuts and slices of Yonezawa beef feature a melt-in-the-mouth texture and a subtly sweet flavour. Many restaurants in the city of Yonezawa offer unforgettable Yonezawa beef experiences with menu options including steak, Sukiyaki and Shabu-Shabu along with reasonably priced options. 



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Uesugi Jinja Shrine

Receive some good luck at the shrine of Kenshin Uesugi, one of the most powerful warriors of the civil war period

Uesugi Jinja Shrine
Uesugi Jinja Shrine was built on the grounds of the former Yonezawa Castle to enshrine Kenshin Uesugi, one of the most powerful warriors of the civil wars of the 15th and 16th centuries. The shrine is believed to bring good luck, academic success and thriving business thanks to Kenshin’s lingering spiritual energy.
Along the approach to the shrine, a pair of battle flags each with a Chinese character flies in the breeze on Maizuru Bridge. One has “Bi” for Bishamonten (also known as Vaisravana, the Buddhist guardian of the north) who Kenshin strongly believed in. The other has “Dragon” for Fudo Myo-o (a wrathful deity) that was used as a signal for rushing at the enemy’s position when Kenshin launched an all-out attack. Kenshin‘s firm religious faith led him to take the two most powerful deities of Buddhism to the battlefields.
History lovers should visit the treasure hall Keishoden which exhibits a number of Important Cultural Properties including relics of the Uesugi clan. There is a famous helmet of Kanetsugu Naoe, a renowned warrior and scholar, marked with the Chinese character for “Love” on display.
The shrine is located in Matsugasaki Park, a popular scenic location when the 200 cherry blossom trees lining the park moats are in bloom from mid to late April. The Yonezawa Uesugi Festival takes place at the shrine and the surrounding area from 29 April to 3 May each year. The festival’s highlights include a procession of over 1,000 shrine-parishioners dressed in extravagant samurai costumes carrying portable shrines known as Uesugi Gyoretsu, and a performance of the Battle of Kawanakajima, the biggest battle of Japan’s civil war era. The Uesugi Snow Lantern Festival takes place at the shrine and Matsugasaki Park on the weekend of the second Saturday of February each year. Over 300 candle-lit snow lanterns and 1,000 snow lamps transform the park into a winter wonderland!
The nearby Matsugasaki Shrine of Yozan Uesugi, known for the saying “where there is a will, there is a way”, also belongs to Uesugi Shrine. Visit both of the shrines for a double dose of luck!
 

Yonezawa Castle Ruins / Matsugasaki Park

Travel back to Japan’s civil war period at this park with beautiful moats in the hometown of the Uesugi clan!

Yonezawa Castle Ruins / Matsugasaki Park
Matsugasaki Park is located on the grounds of the former Yonezawa Castle. The water-filled moats today lend a peaceful charm to the park in contrast with the castle’s turbulent history during the civil war period of many years ago. The park attracts history lovers thanks to its numerous sites related to the powerful Uesugi clan members. These included Kenshin Uesugi, one of the most powerful warriors during the civil war period of the 15th and 16th centuries, and Yozan Uesugi known for his saying “where there is a will, there is a way.” Historic attractions include the Uesugi Jinja Shrine, which today is believed to bring good luck and make wishes come true, and the treasure hall Keishoden exhibiting a number of Important Cultural Properties including relics of the Uesugi clan. There is also a stone monument indicating the birthplace of Masamune Date, the famous feudal lord known as Dokuganryu (One-Eyed Dragon).
The park is popular in spring when visitors come to view the 200 cherry blossom trees in bloom along the moats in mid to late April. Their pink flowers are particularly photogenic when reflecting on the water of the moats and make a beautiful contrast with the traditional red bridges crossing over the moats. Visitors can also enjoy magnificent autumn views when leaves of these cherry blossom trees change colours from late October to early November.
Nearby attractions include Matsugasaki Shrine enshrining Yozan Uesugi and Uesugi Joshien offering a wide range of local delicacies and crafts. Be sure to include these attractions during your visit to the park!
 
 
GOAL
  • Zuihoden
  • Ginzan Onsen
  • Uesugi Jinja Shrine
  • Yonezawa Castle Ruins / Matsugasaki Park

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